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BOSTON (theACC.com) – The Syracuse men headed into the final event of the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships with the team title well in hand.
That left the high drama to the Miami women, who delivered a finish to remember at the Reggie Lewis Center.
A total of three points separated the top three teams – defending champion Clemson (77), Miami (75) Notre Dame (74) – with only Saturday’s meet-closing 4x400 relay remaining on the docket. The Hurricanes’ foursome of Destiny Washington, Aiyanna Stiverne, Brittny Ellis and anchor Shakima Wimbley met the challenge, taking the gold medal with time of 3:34.72.
That result, coupled with Clemson’s third-place relay finish behind Notre Dame, lifted Miami into first place in the final team standings. The Hurricanes finished with 85 team points, followed by Clemson with 83 and Notre Dame with 82.
“This means to world to me,” said Wimbley, who also took gold medals in the 200 and 400 meter runs to earn women’s track MVP honors. “I’ve won some individual honors before. I’ve won events here at Miami, with Team USA and other places. But to be part of a team championship is really something special.”
The ACC indoor title is the third for the Miami women, and their first since claiming back-to-back trophies in 2005 and 2006.
“We won our first two years in the league, both indoors and outdoors, but it is tougher to win it now,” Miami coach Amy Deem said. “We got some pretty good balance all the way through. Shakima was terrific, but we also had some great showing in the field events. It was huge to win the high jump yesterday (with Dakota Dailey-Harris) … that’s what it takes to win.”
Men’s track MVP Justyn Knight’s gold medal run in the 3,000 meters, along with a fourth-place finish in the event by Colin Bennie, left the Syracuse men with a comfortable lead heading into the 4x400. Clemson charged into second place with a strong first-place finish of 3:12.07. But the Orange still placed first in the scoring with 88 points, followed by Clemson at 76.5, Virginia 64, NC State 62 and 2015 champion Virginia Tech 58.
“We were hoping to have a little bigger lead heading so we weren’t so dependent on having to do well in the 3,000,” Syracuse head coach Chris Fox said. “We knew Clemson was going to run a strong relay. But Justyn and Bennie came through big for us. Some of the other teams had some things that didn’t go exactly right for them this week. We did everything just about the way we had it mapped out. And that’s what won it for us.”
The ACC men’s title is the first in track and field for Syracuse since joining the conference prior to the 2013-14 academic year. In addition to winning the 5,000 meter and 3,000 meter races, Knight ran the anchor leg on the Orange DMR team that placed second to Virginia in a record-setting race on Thursday night.
“This is a great feeling, but I try to keep the same approach win or lose, and that is to stay humble,” Knight said. “It is an honor to run in this conference with so many great runners like Thomas Curtin (of Virginia Tech) and Henry Wynne (of Virginia). And also my teammates … they’re the ones who keep pushing me.”
Louisville’s Damar Robinson, who took the gold medal in the high jump and the bronze medal in the triple jump, earned men’s field MVP honors. Georgia Tech freshman Bria Matthews, who took gold medals in both the long jump and triple jump, was the women’s field MVP.
Florida State place fourth in the women’s overall team standings with 70 points, followed by Duke 59, North Carolina 47.5, NC State 42, Louisville 38.5, Virginia 37, Georgia Tech 34, Syracuse 27, Virginia Tech 25.5, Boston College 13, Wake Forest 9.5 and Pitt 9.
On the men’s side, Florida State held sixth place with 55 points, followed by Notre Dame 45, Miami 44, Louisville 38.5, Pitt 28, Wake Forest 27, Duke 26, Georgia Tech 25 and North Carolina 23. Boston College did not score.
Next up for ACC teams and student-athletes are the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, which are scheduled for March 11-12 in Birmingham, Alabama.
MEN's 4x400 RELAY
Clemson won the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:12.07 to close the gap in the team standings. North Carolina was second (3:13.22) and Pittsburgh was third (3:13.43).
WOMEN'S 4x400 RELAY
Shakima Wimbley anchored Miami to #ACCITF women's title w/ commanding run in 4x400. Notre Dame was 2nd to spoil a co-championship bid for Clemson.
MEN’S TRIPLE JUMP
Louisville junior Ben Williams entered the Championship as the league’s No. 2 seed, but stepped up to take the gold medal with a leap of 16.38m (53-9) on Saturday. Clemson’s Shai Carpenter took the silver medal at 15.87m (52-1), while Louisville junior Damar Robinson took the bronze at 15.38m (50-5.50).
MEN’S 3000 METER
Justyn Knight’s ability to finish strong paid off again. One night after winning the 5,000 meters in similar fashion, Knight delivered a strong closing kick to take Saturday’s 3,000 meter race.
Knight led the field in 8:02.68, just ahead of Virginia junior Henry Wynne (8:30.34). The Cavaliers also took the bronze at 8:04.13.
The outcome sealed the 2016 men’s title for the Orange, which held a 29-point lead over second-place NC State with just two events yet to be scored.
SEIDEL STRIKES AGAIN
No one was surprised to see Notre Dame junior Molly Seidel repeat as double gold medalist at this year’s ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, but she took to the next tier in terms of re-writing the record book.
Less than 24 hours after shattering ACC overall and Championship marks in the women’s 5,000 meters, Seidel took the 3,000 meters in an ACC Championship record time of 9:02.24 on Saturday. Her time broke the previous mark of 9:08.13 set by Florida State’s Amanda Winslow in 2013.
As was the case in the 5,000 on Friday evening, Notre Dame freshman Anna Roher took the silver medal with a time of 9:11.14, and Boston College’s Liv Westphal was bronze medalist at 9:14.21.
MEN’S POLE VAULT
Notre Dame’s Nate Richartz junior Nate Richartz staked claimed to men’s pole vault title, clearing 5.46m (17-11) in a showdown with ACC record-holder Torben Laidig of Virginia Tech.
Laidig took the silver medal in 5.22m (17-1.5) edging teammate Brad Johnson on progressions. Johnson, who also cleared 5.22 meters, took the bronze.
MEN’S SHOT PUT
There were no surprises in the men’s shot put, as ACC overall record-holder Filip Mihaljevic of Virginia successfully defended his title.
Mihaljevic’s final throw of 20.04 (65-9) bettered his winning throw of last season by nearly four feet, and was a little more than five inches off the ACC Championship meet record held by Florida State’s Garrett Johnson since 2006.
Miami’s Gian Ragonesi took the silver medal with a throw of 18.87m (61-11), and Virginia’s Oghenakpobo Efekoro placed third at 18.79m (61-7.75).
WOMEN’S 200 METERS
After claiming the 400 meter race earlier in the day, Miami junior Shakima Wimbley returned to her familiar spot at the podium of gold medalist, claiming the women’s 200 for the second straight year.
Wimbley posted a winning time of 23.30 on Saturday, with Clemson’s Sabria Hadley taking the silver medal at 23.52 and Tiger teammate Deja Parrish the bronze at 23.56.
MEN’S 200 METERS
Two is a magic number for Clemson’s Devin Hester. Two individual titles in this year’s ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, and two men’s 200 meter titles in as many years.
Hester posted a first-place finish of 2.90, just a shade off his winning time of 20.84 from a year ago. NC State’s Quashawn Cunningham took second at 21.26, followed by Florida State’s Darryl Haraway at 21.31.
WOMEN’S 800 METERS
Virginia Tech’s Hanna Green staged a successful defense of her women’s 800 title, motoring to victory with a time of 2:04.76 on Saturday afternoon.
Green was a shade off her ACC Championship record time of 2:03.43 set last year, but still finished nearly as second in front of silver medalist Anima Banks of Duke (2:05.70). Florida State’s Chelsea Jarvis placed third at 2:06.04.
MEN’S 800 METERS
Wake Forest freshman Robert Heppenstall earned a spot among the nation’s top 10 and grabbed the first gold medal for the Demon Deacons with his winning time of 1:47.35.
Heppenstall outlasted Florida State and ACC regular-season leader Jake Burton of Florida State (1:47.72). Virginia Tech sophomore Neil Gourley took the bronze with a time of 1:48.10.
WOMEN’S 60 METERS
Senior Myasia Jacobs claimed another gold medal for Clemson, edging fellow elite runner Shaina Harrison of Syracuse to claim the women’s 60-meter dash. Jacobs posted a winning time of 7.24, while Harrison checked in at 7.29. Virginia senior Payton Chaney took the bronze at 7.40.
MEN’S 60 METERS
Tevin Hester assured a Clemson sweep of this year’s 60-meter races, blazing to a first-place finish with a season-best time of 6.61. Florida State freshman Darryl Haraway took the silver with a time of 6.75, and NC State’s Quashawn Cunningham the bronze at 6.76.
WOMEN’S 400 METERS
One year after finishing second to Notre Dame’s Margaret Bamgbose in the ACC Championship indoor women’s 400, Miami’s Shakima Wimbley turned the tables on Saturday.
Wimbley dashed to the gold medal in 52.63, while Bamgbose took the silver at 53.21. Clemson sophomore Deja Parrish placed third with a time of 53.68.
MEN’S 400 METERS
The Clemson men made a clean sweep of this event, claiming the top three podium spots.
Sophomore Jeffrey Green raced to a first-place finish of 46.93. The Tigers’ Michael Cheeks had a silver medal time of 47.41, while Cordell Lamb took the bronze medal at 48.14.
Louisville’s solid overall showing the field events continued, as sophomore Emmonnie Henderson took the shot put gold medal with a throw of 16.92m (55-6.25).
Virginia junior Christine Bohan took the silver medal at 16.53m (54-2.75), while North Carolina junior Sarah Howard took third with a throw of 52-4.50.
WOMEN’S 60 HURDLES
Florida State junior Meme Jean raced to victory in the women’s hurdles in 8.11. Jean edged Notre Dame’s Kaila Barber (8.19) and NC State’s Alexis Perry (8.21) to claim the women’s hurdles in the fastest time since Clemson standout Brianna Rollins’ record 7.90 in 2013.
MEN’S 60 HURDLES
After ranking among the nation’s throughout the regular season, Syracuse 60-meter hurdler Freddie Crittenden III brought his winning form to Boston. Crittenden’s time of 7.74 earned the gold medal on Saturday, and teammate Richard Floyd’s time of 7.86 held up for second place. Georgia Tech’s Spencer Allen took the bronze with a time of 7.95.
The strong showings by the Syracuse hurdlers showed up in the overall team standings, where the Orange have built a 36-point lead over second-place NC State.
WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP
Georgia Tech freshman Bria Matthews made a lasting impression in her first ACC Indoor Track and Field meet.
One day after claiming the title in the women’s long jump, Matthews took the gold medal in the triple jump on Saturday with a winning distance of 13.08m (42-11). Clemson’s Iana Amsterdam took second place at 12.69m (41-7.75), while the Tigers’ Anasterasia Terrell finished third at 41-7 (12.67m).
Make it two gold medals for Virginia’s Henry Wynne. Wynne, who anchored the Cavaliers to the men’s DMR title on Thursday night, captured the mile run on Saturday with a time of 4:01.15. Wynne placed ahead of the Syracuse tandem of Joel Hubbard (4:02.65) and Adam Palamar (4:02.73) who took the respective silver and bronze medals. The outcome gave Virginia a sweep of this year’s ACC indoor mile runs, as Iona Lake earlier took the gold on the women’s side.
Iona Lake emerged as the first winner of Saturday’s closing session of the 2016 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Lake overtook leader Shannon Morton of Virginia Tech down the homestretch to win the women’s mile with a personal best time of 4:36.11. Morton was later disqualified from the race, leaving the silver medal to NC State’s Megan Moye, who clocked in at 4:37.44. Notre Dame’s Danielle Aragon posted a time of 4:39.25 to earn the bronze.